Facebook CEO Mark (Data) Suckahberg has just sunk his talons deeper into your digital carcass.

New York Times piece (via the Boston Globe):

Critics probably won’t like Facebook’s policy

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook pressed ahead Friday with changes to its privacy policies, first proposed in August, that make it clear that users’ postings on the service and other personal data can be used in advertising on the site.

But the company deleted controversial language that had declared that any teenager using the service was presumed to have gotten parental permission for their data to be used in advertising. The company says it already has that permission from other terms of use.

The proposed changes drew an outcry from many users, some privacy groups, and members of Congress, and prompted the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize the company’s plans.

Of course, the FTC’s scrutinizing of anything means that nothing will actually happen.

Which means Suckahberg wins. Again.

Facebook insisted all along that it was not changing any policies but simply clarifying its existing practices.

One of its most important advertising products, called sponsored stories, involves rebroadcasting user posts praising a company’s product to their friends. So if someone posted “Just had a great seafood feast at Red Lobster” or even just clicked ‘like’ on the chain’s Facebook page, the restaurant company might pay to make sure that endorsement showed up high in the news feeds of that person’s friends.

Meanwhile, the Times piece reports, Facebook continues to foot-drag on amending its sponsored stories policy to give users more control, something it agreed to in a class-action-lawsuit settlement in August. “One provision requires the company to give parents the ability to prevent their children’s information from being used in such advertising. The other would allow all users to see if Facebook had turned any comments they had made on the service into a sponsored story ad and allow them to opt out of future broadcasting of that ad.”

Facebook to members: Ich hob dich in bod! (Maybe this too.)

And that goes double for federal regulators.

John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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